Monday, May 4, 2009

Building My Personal Brand

In my last post I mentioned that I was starting a new book called "Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success", and I'd like to explain why.

As you may have deduced with your superior intellect, my real name isn't "40deuce", although it's a possibility for my child (kidding). I came up with the name a long time ago. It comes from my lucky number 42 (and yes, it was my lucky number before I read "The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" although that was a fantastic stroke of fate), and I just though changing the 2 to "deuce" made it sound cooler.

At first, I was just going to use it as a business name. I was going to have a 40deuce empire! 40deuce Media, 40deuce Records, 40deuce Films, 40deuce Clothing, 40deuce whatever, etc. A little while after that I decided to use it in an email address just because I couldn't think of anything else and didn't want to go with just my real name (how boring). Later it just became a screen name for me so I could log into all kinds of websites and not really worry about forgetting what name I came up with for this site.

At first I never really considered anything about using the alias, but then people on Twitter (where of course it's my handle) started addressing me with lines like "hey deuce" as if it was my real name. I thought it was a little strange, but I understood why they were doing it. It didn't quite click in my head yet that I had started building a personal brand.

A little while after that I decided to get some business cards made up for networking purposes. I put all the usual title, contact and website info on one side, but had to think of something to put on the other side. I decided that I should just put a big 40deuce on the back side. That way I could also tell people that they can find me on Twitter with that name, but I also figured it worked since I plan on calling any business I start 40deuce.

While at a networking party for young business minded people here in Toronto known as #GenYTO, I was mingling around and introducing myself to the people there with my real name. We would chat for a while and eventually the person I was talking with and me would exchange business cards. It was at this point when a few people throughout the night would look at my card and say, "Oh! You're 40deuce?? I've seen/follow you on Twitter." This is when I started to realize that I was becoming this 40deuce brand.

The next week in school one of my classmates asked to see my business card. When I showed it to her she asked, "What's with the 40deuce?" I didn't even think about my response and somehow the words "I'm building a personal brand" came out of my mouth.

That was the first time I even thought about it in those terms. I didn't mean to say that, it's just what came out. It did howevr make me realize that it's true. 40deuce is now my brand. My personal brand, and I think that I've started to establish it enough that it's now time to build that brand and really make it known.

And that my friends is what lead me to pick up this new book. I'll let you know how it goes when I finish reading it.


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